April 18, 2006

Is Part of the Gospel of Judas in an Ohio Vault?

As I learn more about the recent history of the Gospel of Judas codex it reads like a Dan Brown novel, with intrigue, bankruptcy, documents in bank vaults, exotic locations like Ohio, heck it’s more exciting then the so-called Gospel itself.

The latest chapter of the codex’s history to garner press attention doesn’t take place in some cave in Egypt, but half way around the world in a bank vault in suburban Ohio.

[Y]ou may have heard about the Gospel of Judas, a long-lost manuscript that has been getting international attention. But you haven't heard this: Part of it is in Akron. A portion of the 1,700-year-old treasure is sitting in a bank vault on South Main Street. At least that's what the National Geographic Society says.

As has been somewhat reported already: Ferrini the dealer that owned the codex (bought for 2.5 million) filed for bankruptcy last Septembet and was at least “$4.6 million in debt last year.”

An atternoy in Akron, Ohio named Morris Laatsch “was appointed to catalog and assess Ferrini's possessions.” In 2001 the sale of the codex fell through and “Ferrini supposedly returned the whole codex to its previous owner.”

But according to Haley and National Geographic, which photographed the Akron pieces in February, a significant portion of the gospel remained in Ferrini's possession.

Laatsch says Ferrini has returned everything he was to have bought from the precious owner and denies Nation Geographic’s claims.

“There's more than one series of writings,” Laatsch said. “The Gnostics apparently wrote lots of things. Possibly this could be from this same document. But if the experts do say it is, I guess perhaps you can rely on them or not rely on them.”

Apparently Ferrini has some documents though he’s not saying what exactly.

The delicate fragments are inside a special vault at FirstMerit. Only the bank has the combination to an outer vault, and only Haley has the combination to an inner vault. The Akron fragments are stored in 26 plastic folders, each about the size of half a standard envelope.

The rest of the article tells a bit more about the history and future of the codex which according to the article:

Christian scholars are widely split in regard to the potential religious impact of the discovery. Some believe the name Judas may no longer be synonymous with ``traitor.'' Others say the find will have little impact. But the historical value is unquestioned.

Well I don’t actually know which scholars are widely split, most every one I read, be they liberal or conservative think it has little if any impact on anything other then later Gnostics.

There is a funny story about Ferrari storing the codex in his freezer! Well, can you really blame him? I mean it works for ground beef.


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